Monday, 26 January 2015

cumulative exams promote long-lasting learning

This is something that I have long suspected but never had the evidence to back up my suspicions. Now I have the evidence: cumulative exams promote long-term learning. But what is interesting, that will likely affect my course design, is that what matters is that each subsequent exam/quiz, throughout the course be cumulative, not just the final exam. I have always made my MT exams and quizzes, non-cumulative, much to the satisfaction of my students. However, the study cited in this Faculty Focus blog post suggests that it is the cumulative nature of tests throughout the term that makes the difference, not just having a cumulative final exam.

My students may resent me for it, but my job as an educator is to design a learning environment that best promotes their learning. Looks like this is the end of non-cumulative tests in my courses.


Weimer M. 2014 Do Cumulative Exams Motivate Students? Faculty Focus, April 10.